The greatest boxer and athlete that America has ever known made his transition to the other side on June 3, 2016. Muhammad Ali was a charismatic, beautiful, defiant icon that graced the world with his presence. He was not just a sportsman but an international figure that shook the world to its very core. This strong powerful black man was unapologetic about his proclamation that he was "The Greatest". "It is not bragging if you can back it up", he boasts. And yes he backed up every bit of his braggadocios exclamations.
I was born after he demolished the former heavy weight champion Sonny Liston. That iconic picture of Ali triumphantly standing over the crumpled Liston is my only memory of it. His heroic stand against the Vietnam War and his call for the civil rights of all people was etched in the history books when I became aware of him. I do remember as a little brown girl in Brooklyn waiting to see the Thrilla in Manila; Ali and Frazier's anticipated boxing match in the Philippines. Their was no Internet, social media, or cable providers. The world literally stopped and gathered around the television for this battle of the two titans. Ali and Frazier did not disappoint; it was a fight for the ages.
Years later when Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease it was unimaginable at first to see his melodic voice silenced and the deterioration of the perfect physical specimen he had personified. You could still see his unrelenting spirit and courage had prevailed. The disease may have ravaged him physically but he was still a strong, kind and charitable man. The world will never again see a man, an American, a radical and a legend like this again. We loss a good one but his inspirational life will never ever be forgotten.